Posted on 27 October 2011
By Mark Miller
Now that the official Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and Medicare Part B premiums have been announced for 2012, we can tote up the numbers to see how seniors will fare.
All in all, the news is pretty good – a 3.6 percent COLA coupled with a much smaller-than-expected increase in the premium for Part B, which funds doctor visits and outpatient services in Medicare.
ThePart B will be $99.90 in 2012, up just 3 percent compared with this year. And the Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.
The government had been forecasting a Part B premium of $106.60. That would have taken a significant bite out of the COLA, since Part B premiums are deducted from the Social Security benefits of most seniors. Today’s news means that seniors receiving the average monthly Social Security benefit ($1,177) will see a net 3.30 percent gain in payments – just under $39 per month.